Shylock is My Name: The Merchant of Venice Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Hogarth Shakespeare (Hardback)Howard Jacobson (author)
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'The funniest British novelist since Kingsley Amis or Tom Sharpe' Mail on Sunday
AS SEEN ON BBC IMAGINE
‘Who is this guy, Dad? What is he doing here?’
With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a remarkable friendship.
Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle, the rich, manipulative Plurabelle (aka Anna Livia Plurabelle Cleopatra A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Christine) is the face of her own TV series, existing in a bubble of plastic surgery and lavish parties. She shares prejudices and a barbed sense of humour with her loyal friend D’Anton, whose attempts to play Cupid involve Strulovitch’s daughter – and put a pound of flesh on the line.
Howard Jacobson’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.
'Jacobson is quite simply a master of comic precision. He writes like a dream' Evening Standard
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 438 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 28 mm
"Inspired...It does what any good literary subversion should do: deepens and enhances one's appreciation of the original." -- James Lasdun * Guardian *
"Jacobson's writing is virtuoso. He is the master of shifting tones, from the satirical to the serious. His prose has the sort of elastic precision you only get from a writer who is truly in command ... There's also deep and sincere soul-searching going on here" -- Lucasta Miller * Independent *
"A brilliant conceit... A powerful reimagining and reinvention of Shakespeare's character." -- Adam Lively * The Sunday Times *
"Howard Jacobson's reworking of The Merchant of Venice is a sly success... Irascible, eloquent Shylock is a man transplanted from the play to today." -- Tim Martin * Daily Telegraph *
"Shylock is My Name has much to tell us about loss, identity and modern antisemitism ... Simon's debates with Shylock, snapshots of a man haranguing his literary Creator, are the heart of this book, knowing and humane" -- Kate Maltby * The Times *
"Jacobson is clearly enjoying himself, savouring the play's puzzles like a connoisseur with a complex wine, luxuriating in its themes of love, vengeance, forgiveness and justice, exploring what it means to be Jewish, then and now... Provocative, caustic and bold." -- Rebecca Adams * Financial Times *
"An unusually engaged form of literary criticism ... Jacobson treats Shylock less as a product of Shakespeare's culture and imagination than as a real historical figure emblematic of Jewish experience" -- Anthony Cummins * Prospect *
"Supremely stylish, probing and unsettling... Jacobson's writing is virtuoso. He is a master of shifting tones, from the satirical to the serious. His prose has the sort of elastic precision you only get from a writer who is truly in command." * Irish Independent *
"A shrewd and powerful examination of what is means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being, this is another witty and thought-provoking tale from Jacobson." -- Sebastian Shakespeare * Tatler *
"Howard Jacobson, the undisputed British master of black comedies featuring Jewish characters... [Shylock is My Name] is a provocative interrogation of Shakespeare's play... [Written] with empathy and affection. Sharp-edged and bitterly funny verbal fencing matches between the two men, the modern and eternal versions of each other, are the engine of the novel, as they pursue the questions of what it means to call oneself a Jew, or to be called one by others." -- Stephanie Merritt * Observer *
"Jacobson takes the play's themes - justice, revenge, mercy, Jews and Christians, Jew-hatred, fathers and daughters - and works away at them with dark humour and rare intelligence... This is Jacobson at his best. There is no funnier writer in English today." -- David Herman * Jewish Chronicle *
"Shylock is My Name is witty and astute." -- Rosie Kinchen * The Sunday Times *
"A bracing read. It explores the meaning of Shakespeare's play, uses its enduring relevance to examine the contemporary world and challenges us to interrogate our prejudices... Thought-provoking." -- Max Liu * Independent on Sunday *
"I tend to resist modern versions of the classics. What is added to a great work in the rewriting? Do we need the argot of the 21st century because the original is now intimidatingly remote? However, reading Shylock Is My Name undid me, reminding me of the irrefutable otherness that still manifests itself. It is a moving, disturbing and compelling riposte to the blithe resolution offered in the urtext." -- Louise Adler * Sydney Morning Herald *
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“ Jacobson's update of Merchant of Venice is an intellectual tour de force”
Shylock was my first Howard Jacobson, and my fourth of the Hogarth Shakespeare Retold series. I can confirm that Shylock is my name is the most literary and I certainly increased my vocabulary within the first thirty... More
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